What Do the Different Cloud Symbols Mean in iTunes?


If you use iTunes then you’ll be familiar with the symbols used to indicate the statuses of songs on your account, but what do the different cloud symbols mean on iTunes?

Apple has a whole host of different music platforms available to those with Apple devices. You might subscribe to Apple Music, use iTunes Match and store your various albums on the iCloud Music Library.

Whilst all these features are a great way to gain access to more music and back up your tunes, it can also get confusing. Did you purchase this music? Did you download from Apple Music? Is it available for offline streaming?

Well, as it turns out, the cloud symbols on iTunes are the best way to check the status of your songs.

So, we’re going to tell you what the different cloud symbols mean on iTunes, so you can keep on top of your music.

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iTunes Cloud Symbols: What Do They All Mean?

iTunes is the platform Apple uses to store and sync music and videos to your device.

Songs on iTunes are also stored on the iCloud Music Library – if you have synced. This is essentially a backup of all your music, so if you were to change or lose your device, you can restore this music onto a new device in the future.

Next to each song on iTunes, you can see a cloud symbol, which tells you the status of each song. The status of the song will depend on the origin of the file. For example, if you downloaded it from Apple Music, or purchased the song directly from the iTunes store.

Let’s take a closer look at what the cloud symbols mean:

iTunes Cloud With Arrow Pointing Down

This symbol means the song is stored on iCloud and is available to download directly to your computer. Clicking on the symbol will give you the choice to instantly download the song to your computer.

Double Cloud With Diagonal Slash

This means this song is featured more than once in your iTunes and that only one version is stored on iCloud.

Single Cloud With Diagonal Slash

If you can see this cloud symbol next to a song, it means it can’t download to your iTunes because it isn’t eligible. This might be down to the size of the file, or the file type itself. For example, iTunes does not support WMA or FLAC, so you will need to convert these files to upload them to iTunes.

iTunes Exclamation Point Inside Cloud

This symbol indicates that is an error in the file and it has failed to upload to iTunes. This is due to a corrupt file, or loss of connection during the uploading process. You can click this symbol to try uploading again.

‘X’ Inside A Cloud on iTunes

An X inside the cloud means the song was removed from iTunes or iCloud.

iTunes Dotted Cloud Symbol

A dotted cloud symbol means that the song is being matched on iTunes Match but the process isn’t yet completed. You will only see this symbol if you subscribe to iTunes Match.

Once you get to know these symbols, they are a quick and simple way of understanding the status of your iTunes music.

Still seeing a symbol on your iTunes that you are unfamiliar with? Let’s look at some other common symbols used on iTunes.

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iTunes Symbols: Dotted Circle

If you see a dotted circle next to a song in your iTunes, it can mean one of three things.

  1. First, you might have had trouble syncing this song to your device. You can fix this by deleting the songs from iTunes completely and re-dragging them back into your library. Next, try syncing your device again and they should appear in your library on your device. The dotted circle should then disappear.
  1. You may have disabled the ‘Manually Manage Music and Videos’ option on iTunes. You can switch this option back on again by going into your iTunes settings and ticking the box. After updating the settings, try to sync your device again.
  2. You may not have enough storage on your device which means the song is unable to sync. To remedy this, check your storage space and clear enough room to sync your music library.

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What Do the Arrow Symbols Mean in iTunes?

There are other symbols you may come across when using iTunes, including numerous arrow symbols.

Let’s see what each of them mean:

Two Arrows Pointing Outwards on iTunes

Clicking this symbol means you will enter full-screen mode.

Two Arrows Pointing Inwards

This symbol will take you out of full-screen mode.

Two Blue Arrows Making A Circle with a ‘1’ inside

If you can see this symbol it means that the current song will be played on repeat. Click on this symbol to end the ‘repeat song’ function and it will become the symbol listed below:

iTunes: Two Blue Arrows Making A Circle

If this symbol is blue, it means the current album or playlist will be played on repeat. Click on this symbol to end the repeat function entirely. Next, the arrows will turn grey to indicate the repeat function is disabled.

Two Arrows Crossing on iTunes

This is the ‘shuffle’ function and clicking on these arrows will turn the symbol blue. When this symbol is blue it indicates shuffle is ‘on’ and the songs on the playlist or album will be played at random.

iTunes uses many symbols to indicate certain functions and updates on the program. Whilst this may be confusing initially, you will become more familiar with their meanings and uses. Several icons seen on iTunes may also be used in Apple Music. So, familiarizing yourself with their uses and meanings on one platform is often useful on other Apple applications too.

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